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multiple or long term As, grieving

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sunvalley posted 7/7/2014 19:47 PM

I feel like day to day life is manageable these days and we are finally talking about what's really behind our pain. I went through a long stage of anger recently and MC hasn't been that helpful, but IC has been great. But the second I think about what he did, how long he betrayed me and with how many women, I don't know where to start with my grieving. I don't believe it can all be grieved together, because if I think back to specific dates and events they each have unique pains associated with them. For those of you who had multiple As to deal with or multiple meetings with the same OW even that generate different pains/emotions for you, how do you grieve all of them so they don't hurt so much?

I feel like I don't really evaluate each situation and the emotions surrounding each meeting, because there were just too many to count and I have been told by IC not to allow myself to think about the mind movies, as they're never productive and produce more hurt. So how do you deal with each and every incident and come to acceptance in your mind? Today I started with one, kind of triggered I guess and then spiraled to the point where I feel overwhelmed again...absolutely shocked and horrified by what he's done - the sex, the business trips with them, the ways he hurt me and the children, it suffocates me still and feels like too much if I think about any of it. I don't feel I'm specifically addressing any of the situations he was in, more than just grieving it as a whole...should I be doing something different? Something to tackle each of the incidents and really work on them? Like I said, day to day I feel ok but anytime I think of the specifics of the As, my blood still boils and I feel like I'm drowning. I have another EMDR session next week, and it can't come soon enough but as I approach the 1yr mark I feel like some of the situations shouldn't feel so painful still and when I do trigger I want out of the M, which I know won't get me anywhere or be what I want in the long term. I know the one hotel no longer generates a severe reaction because I've been forced to deal with it daily by driving by it constantly...I'm thinking maybe if I address and 'dull' the emotions surrounding other places/events it would somehow help?

callmesteph posted 7/7/2014 20:34 PM

Sunvalley.....I would probably drown in the rough deep sea if I were to try to pacify each event/place that they sailed out to together. I would probably get sunburn and rashes with memories of them basking under the sun.....but no.....I'm not going back to their place or time or events.....because that would be giving those APs head space that they don't deserve. Best I don't acknowledge ANY of them because what they had was not real love anyways. As far as WH..that was the old H that died. If I happen to cross paths and sailed to the same destinations/events where they anchored, then I will do my best to create only sweet memories with my new H there....if mind movies creep in when I am there, I will try to crush it & reclaim my territory. Now and in the future.....I want to sail into each sunset without any distractions of his past and enjoy the fresh air, sound of the waves, the splashing of water on my face and the fact that he is NOW beside me to enjoy the beautiful sun together.

Sorry to be so is one concrete example: My H took his AP to Vegas twice as weekend trip for pleasure with PW#1 (his 2 1/2 A). Shortly after DDay, I went back to the same hotel. It triggered me and I cried. Since then, after I learn to not give them head space....I have gone back numerous times without any trigger or sadness. I refuse to let anything he did with the APs control me from now on...,period. I let myself go, enjoy, have fun, laugh and live life to the fullest while I was there. Life is tooooo short!!!

Sorry if I didn't make any sense or if post didn't help in any way.

hopefull77 posted 7/7/2014 20:41 PM

I am sorry you are feeling this way have given great advice on many threads...
My H had a 2 year A....that is still hard to wrap my head around....but when I look back...he was unrecogizable to me...but I was living the day to day life....while he lived his double life...
Today is a different day than dday....that is the gift of time

dameia posted 7/7/2014 21:01 PM

My WH had multiple A's, 16 with hookers in Thailand and 1 with a howorker in the States.

I have grieved all of the A's. Each one is a different hurt and each one has different triggers. Some of them are particular dates (including DS3's bday ), some are triggered by particular songs, etc. You get the idea.

I try not to think about them individually though. It's just too overwhelming. I don't think I would be able to R if I kept thinking about the number of OW's and the years of lies. However when the triggers do hit. or when I have a bad day, I don't fight it. I accept the sadness and anger and I try to work through it. I'm 2 years out (today is my DDay antiversary) and I still have those bad days. But they are not as frequent as they once were.

I will never forgive, but I'm working on acceptance. One thing that helps me is working on making myself better. I've been a SAHM for 12 years, but I'm now working on getting my realtors licence so I can support myself. I've always wanted to travel, hut never did because WH didn't want to. But this summer we are taking a huge trip I've always wanted to do and next year DD and I are going to Europe. I decided to stop putting myself last. It has really helped me heal. I realized it's okay to have my own wants and's okay to not put myself last.

sunvalley posted 7/7/2014 22:59 PM

Thank you all for your replies, they all helped in their own way. I dont generally try to relive all the details, or want to. I guess I was questioning if thats why I was still struggling, because I havent had to grieve each situation head on. Today I let the overwhelming sense of sadness and anger get to me. I let all tjose past instances pile up on me until I couldnt take anymore. I had an outburst that was out of character for me (smashed a frame) so I packed up and went to the beach for a walk. I just find when I get caught up in thoughts of what he did, the severity of his actions, I get overwhelming feelings of guilt and shame for staying. I get hard on myself for how I handle things. Im still hung up on wanting none of this to be true even with how far Ive come...I sound like a broken record. But it is just today and I think Im quite defeated from MC cause it just feel like there is no one who can truly help us.

TheIrishGirl posted 7/8/2014 08:24 AM

My WH has inappropriate contact with 6-10 women, 2 for a month or so, and one for 3months (this is the one I discovered while it was happening). I try to not think too much about each one separately, because they all boil down to the same issue- my WH was an ass, made awful decisions, etc. and HE is my problem, not them. His thought process was the same regardless of who, how often, etc. and that's the problem. Sure, the duration and frequency can make some aspects of the pain more acute, but it's all the same betrayal.

In reality, I find myself processing the 3 month OW differently, even he admits that one was different from the others. And even the two that lasted a month are kind of a thing of their own, though for the most part I group them in with the rest (some were just flirty inappropriate, others were explicit and cybersex).

hopefull77 posted 7/8/2014 09:03 AM

I so understand your feeling...there are times when I Feel like REALLY??? THIS REALLLLY HAPPENED???

The sadness can be overpowering and then the fear of can I really get over this sets in...
those outbursts and meltdowns etc take their toll on me for a few days...
today I am in a good place ...I like that...I also know that those feelings can come out of nowhere and I just hope I can shake them off quicker each time...
hang in there!!

MissedRedFlags posted 7/8/2014 09:31 AM

Sunvalley---I've struggled with this too. I've tried to explain it to my WS---we'll be at a fun, happy event with the kids and I'll suddenly think to myself, "This is all pretense---we can be happy but if that top layer is pulled back, if the curtain is moved, then the fact remains my husband cheated on me for three years. Three years of lies. What's real?" It's almost as if my mind tries to remind me that I shouldn't let my guard down. Sigh. Hugs to you.

sunvalley posted 7/9/2014 02:43 AM

I think when I say processing each separately it's because they each have their own pains and set of emotions associated. It's less about the Ap and more about the situations surrounding the time frames in our lives. The As were all the same in terms of how he acted and what they did, it was all the same whether it was one person or was about him and his issues. It's the emotions surrounding the other aspects of our lives during the As that upset me most and what I feel I need to grieve separately. Things like family members dying and him being with an AP instead of helping me, him taking one on a road trip I was supposed to go on originally, him refusing to take the kids and I to an event and taking an AP instead, him ditching his family with me while they were in town visiting and taking the day off work to see an AP, him telling an AP he loved her because she was super needy, him having an A when I was sick or volunteering, etc. Those are the parts I feel need separate grieving because each one evokes different emotions. There's a common sense of rejection and him not being there for me, but these situations still cause me so much grief if I think about them and for different reasons with each. I don't think about him with the AP much anymore, but I'd be lying to say that the fact that he could have sex with 4OW is so bothersome still. but it's less about grieving the fact that he was with these people and more about grieving the multiple ways he let me down aside from the obvious ones.

Tammy1 posted 7/9/2014 10:23 AM

My H had a LTA. At first he tried to lump it all into one betrayal. I quickly pointed out that each and every meeting, trip, phone call, etc. he had with OW was another knife in my back. It doesn't feel like one betrayal. I grieve for each of them.

Some things hurt more than others though. When my husband confessed that he took OW to NYC, I lost it. I shattered the wine glass I was holding, grabbed bottles of wine and took off. H found me passed out in my car at a local park a few hours later. That was a very low point. He took OW on several of his business trips, but that one hurt the most because we had never been to New York together.

I don't know what the answer is. I guess at some point I will just have to find acceptance and peace. But I'm not there yet.

LA44 posted 7/9/2014 21:38 PM

Hey ((sunvalley)), my H had a 2+ LTA. I was SO overwhelmed by the length - how do I possibly put this puzzle back together?! There was SO MUCH! Around month three I wrote a list called, "What I need to Accept". Lists bring me comfort so why not make one for this, right?

I would write things as you did below:

1) Not being there for me but instead with AP when family member died.

2) Taking AP on a road trip. The one I was supposed to go on.

3) Being with AP when I was out being a good citizen.

and so on.

I had approx 25 things on my list. I would revisit them every now and again and for the first 7 months I was like, "#1. Nope, haven't accepted this. #7, Nope. haven't accepted this either." But then I looked at them over one year out and I felt like I had come a long way!

There is something about writing things out (for me) with such purpose that helped my brain. Where once they were all jumbled together and fighting the other for power, now I could see them on paper. In order. I guess I was trying to make form from chaos and it seemed to work.

Maybe this will help you too.

sunvalley posted 7/9/2014 22:57 PM

Tammy, I totally relate to your explanation of things, I have explained similar to H. Each situation, each choice is painful in and of itself, it's hard to group them all as one betrayal because he did it time and again. When one ended he found another. He never stopped himself or got help. So no, it's not one big betrayal in my eyes either.

LA - I love this idea! I am a list creator and it might not seem so overwhelming as well as providing me some perspective when I'm able to see how far I've come. Journaling is too emotional for me. I do it when I can, but I'm much more analytic and I do feel a precise list is more my style. thank you!

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